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The Introvert’s Guide to an Exciting and Fulfilling Love Life

The Introvert’s Guide to an Exciting and Fulfilling Love Life
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Sooner or later, we all fall in love with our own Mr. Darcys and Jane Eyres. “Shrined in double retirement”, deeply immersed in their fictional universes and lovingly shy with their captivating words, introverts are the most beautiful beings among highly sensitive people.

Being misunderstood for a pompous fellow, Mr. Darcy explains his inner turmoil with a mutter: “I certainly have not the talent which some people possess, of conversing easily with those I have never seen before.”

The thrilling face of love doesn’t come easily to persons in hiding. Even if it does appear from thin air, which is a miraculous rarity, reading its signs and responding appropriately is emotionally draining. Unique and individualistic as they are, introverts rather draw their blinds and read on.

And it’s perfectly fine! As an extroverted guy, I laugh loudly and shout my arguments, but my eyes are always drawn to a girl quietly drawing cityscapes on her beer glass in the corner. I’ve known many introverts in my life, and all of them have delighted me with their emotional depths, their windowsill contemplations and their remarkable minds.

To all of you sensitive souls in search of affection and meaning, here’s what I’ve learned from my beautifully introverted friends and their challenges of living an exciting and fulfilling love life.

A Frightening Delight of A Meeting Place

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    Beer pong might be fun, but feeling the evening breeze on your skin is simply electrifying. Miles Davis is endlessly smoother when experienced from your kitchen carpet, and so are Faulkner and Richard Linklater. There’s nothing as wonderful as an introverted soul and the way it projects itself into arts, thoughts and serenity. The only problem is – there’s no one around to share your stellar visions with.

    A line between seclusion and loneliness is thin and infinitely confusing, and once revealed, the need for someone to love and understand your solitary meditations starts to grow with every page. The question of where to meet and how to approach them becomes essential. Here are a couple of ideas.

    The Outskirts of a Party

    Undoubtedly, parties and other equally crowded social events are not exactly your cup of tea. They’re cramped places full of empty chatter that always deepen your reticence and make you wish you were comfortably alone for the evening. They are far beyond your comfort zone, and for the time being, they should be. (Un)fortunately, it’s the only way of meeting your kin, and you can be sure that each party has at least two.

    If joining a roaring argument or starting a conversation with extroverts is simply too overwhelming, check out the hiding places – usually, there’s a fellow loner on the outskirts eager to escape the room and rush off home. Offer them a smile and they would most likely understand. Soon enough, you’ll find yourself noiselessly talking about what really matters.

    The Soulmate Club

    “Introverts tend to be slow to warm up to people enough to connect. Seeing people over and over and sharing a common interest provide easier entry into conversation than just going to a party or bar where you have to jump in with both feet right away”, explains Sophia Dembling, author of the book Introverts in Love: The Quiet Way to Happily Ever After.

    And if you think about it really hard, Dembling has a point. Starry nights and silent wonders might be only things powerful enough to move you, but there are certainly others who share your love for world’s simple pleasures. Decide what interest you the most, and look around for a class, course or a club you can join. Finding a person with that one, but significant mutual interest might prove as unexpectedly fulfilling and ultimately lead to a deep and genuine connection.

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    The Joe Fox & Kathleen Kelly Story

    After all, romance can be found in the most mundane of places, and all it takes is a little effort on your part. As daunting as it may be, approaching other people is the only way of communicating your magnificent inner self – even though introverted, you have no reason of being unconfident about your passions and beliefs, and the lack of courage is the only obstacle standing in your way.

    If immediate interactions make you hesitant and clumsy, try exploring Tinder and similar dating scenes in the online environment. Apart from removing the initial dread of having to make eye contact, these dating apps will actually allow you to think before responding and give you a little time to express the real you. Each day you get to “like” a few people and get a few likes back yourself, and the occasional Tinder super like will always bring a smile to your face and and open up some magnificent possibilities.

    Online communication might remove so much of your conversational blocks, and if you do stumble upon a person you like in the real life, consider talking to them via social media first. That way, your shyness won’t seem as obvious as usual.

    From Candlelit Dinners to Eternity

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      Once you’re comfortably cuddled in the arms of the sleepy person beside you, try not to fear. As always, personality conflicts might appear, but there’s nothing a little conversation can’t solve. I’ve learned that introverts have an especially hard time adapting to the hectic dynamic that partnerships often spur, but I’ve also learned that when two people are equally mature, reasonable and caring, sitting in silence can be a blissful daydream. Here’s some advice on how to communicate with talkative and light-hearted partner.

      Coffee, Cigarettes & Conversations

      Intimate dates are your chance to shine.

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      “Introverts tend to be most comfortable in one-on-one situations where they don’t have to compete for attention,” claims Dembling, “They can be good conversationalists if they’re with someone who gives them the space to respond and shows interest in their interests.”

      The fact that filler conversations come boring and exhausting to you is only a sign of your profound personality, and you shouldn’t feel bad about avoiding them. Instead of pretending to care about superficial matters, propose an idea that occupies your brooding mind and see what happens. If a person sitting beside you is mature enough to enjoy an in-depth conversation, there’s an opportunity for you to make a strong connection and eventually open up.

      The Privilege of Solitary Growth

      Even the most extroverted of people need their alone time. Only in quiet moments of solitude we can see ourselves for who we really are and replenish those life juices so important for fuelling our relationships.

      It’s a privilege every soul-searching person is entitled to, and those who don’t understand the significance it has for our inner fulfilment are simply not eligible for developing a joint identity yet. As a stargazing introvert, you probably need these moments to be slightly longer, and explaining that to your significant other might be a challenge.

      Instead of retreating emotionally, offer a simple argument to justify your case – rather than an insult to your lover, your “me” time is a perfectly natural need for reflection and self-improvement, and as such, it betters you both as an individual and a partner.

      But being an important need for your spiritual and intellectual growth, you will have to understand, respect and meet the opposing needs of your partner in return. If squeezing their way out of the teeming clubs is their idea of evening fun, try to meet them in the middle and join their outdoorsy escapades as often as your peace-seeking nature allows you.

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      Explain, Retreat & Resolve

      It’s well known and confirmed in my experience that introverted people are not exactly the most triumphant of fighters. In fact, conflicts probably make you immensely passive-aggressive as well, but unfortunately, the one thing you will not be able to avoid in your relationship are arguments.

      Perhaps it’s for the best to set some ground rules early on and practice them along the way – only by staying clear-minded and retaining control, you’ll be able to voice your opinions and state your problems directly and clearly enough. And since you always need a silent moment to regroup your strengths and gather your thoughts, start off with that.

      Talk to your partner about the way you talk, explain that your ponderous silence is not a way of turning them off, but a method that helps you verbalize your emotional response, and ask for a little patience. And if misunderstanding is still unsolvable, don’t stay in a relationship in which you’ll be lonely, instead of having someone to be alone with.

      “Solitude matters, and for some people it’s the air they breathe,” says Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.

      Having a little courage, empathy and patience is the best way of finding someone to share that nectarous air with.

      Featured photo credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/GxAhDWN8M7A via pexels.com

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      Nemanja Manojlovic

      Editor at MyCity Web

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      Last Updated on July 20, 2021

      How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

      How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)
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      You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

      Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

      Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

      Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

      1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

      According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

      “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

      Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

      Warming up

      If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

      If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

      Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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      1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
      2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
      3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

      Stay hydrated

      Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

      To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

      Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

      Meditate

      Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

      Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

      Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

      Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

      2. Focus on your goal

      One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

      Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

      Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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      Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

      If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

      3. Convert negativity to positivity

      There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

      ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

      It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

      Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

      Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

      Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

      4. Understand your content

      Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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      However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

      “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

      Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

      Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

      One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

      5. Practice makes perfect

      Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

      In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

      Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

      6. Be authentic

      There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

      Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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      Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

      To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

      With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

      Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

      7. Post speech evaluation

      Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

      Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

      We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

      You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

      Improve your next speech

      As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

      Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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      • How did I do?
      • Are there any areas for improvement?
      • Did I sound or look stressed?
      • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
      • Was I saying “um” too often?
      • How was the flow of the speech?

      Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

      If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

      Reference

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